AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — George Prescott Bush filed the official paperwork Tuesday to run for Texas land commissioner next year, hoping to use a little-known but powerful post to continue his family's political dynasty in one of the country's most-conservative states.
Bush spokesman Trey Newton told The Associated Press that Bush spoke with current Land Commissioner Jerry Paterson before formally declaring his candidacy Tuesday. Paterson has already announced he's leaving the post to run for lieutenant governor.
An attorney and consultant from Fort Worth and Spanish-speaker, Bush is considered a rising star among conservative Hispanics. In November, Bush filed with the Texas Ethics Commission ensuring he would seek statewide office in 2014 but did not say which one, touching off rumors he might run for attorney general or even governor.
The land commissioner administers state-owned lands and mineral resources, and is a post that can be a stepping stone to higher office in Texas. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was land commissioner before winning his current job.
A Democrat has not won statewide office in Texas since 1994, but Hispanics accounted for two-thirds of Texas' population growth over the last decade and now make up 35 percent of its population. They tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic.
Bush is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, who was born in Mexico. His uncle is George W. Bush and his grandfather is George H.W. Bush.
George P. Bush has been active in politics for years. Last summer, he was promoted to deputy finance chairman of the Texas Republican Party.
Bush grew up in Florida but met his wife Amanda while attending law school at the University of Texas. He later became a partner in a real estate investment company and has since started Fort Worth-based St. Augustine Partners, a business consulting firm.